However, in the early days of Islam prior to the hijra and until the beginning of the seventh month after hijra Muslims offered salat facing towards Jerusalem. Salat is intended to focus the mind on God; it is a personal communication with God, expressing gratitude and worship. According to the Qur'an (29:40) the benefit of prayer "restrains [one] from shameful and evil deeds. Salat is compulsory but there are flexibilities under certain circumstances. For example in the case of sickness or lack of space, a worshipper can offer salat while sitting or even lying, and the prayer can be shortened when travelling.
The salat must be performed in the Arabic language to the best of each worshipper's ability (although the du'a afterwards need not be in Arabic), and the lines are to be recited by heart, although beginners may use written aids. The worshipper's body and clothing, as well as the place of prayer, must be cleansed. All salat should be conducted within the prescribed time period or waqt and with the appropriate number of raka'ah. While prayers may be made at any point within the waqt, it is considered best to begin them as soon as possible after the call to prayer is heard. When a worshipper is too far from a mosque to hear a call to prayer, the time may be inferred from the position of the sun in the sky.
Verses from the Holy Quran
[13:15] To GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings.
[16:49] To GOD prostrates everything in the heavens and everything on earth - every creature - and so do the angels; without the least arrogance.
[22:18] Do you not realize that to GOD prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the animals, and many people? Many others among the people are committed to doom. Whomever GOD shames, none will honor him. Everything is in accordance with GOD's will.
The importance of prayer
Prayer in Islam has a great importance, this can proved by the following:
1- It is the second element of Islam.
2- It is the first thing to be asked about on the day of resurrection , if prayer is accepted then all man’s work will be accepted and if it is not accepted all his work will not be accepted either.
3- It is a distinguishing sign for pious (devoted) believers as Allah says: “and perform prayer “( surat Al-Bakkara/ verse 3).
4- This who preserves prayer preserves his religion, and this who abandons it loses his religion.
5- Islam is in man’s heart as far as prayer is in his heart and his share in Islam equals his share of prayer.
6- It is a sign of loving Allah and appreciating His Blessings.
7- Allah The Almighty ordered us to preserve it whether we are traveling or staying, during war and peace and whether we are ill or healthy.
8- Texts declare that who abandons prayer is a disbeliever (an atheist). Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “what lies between a man and atheism is abandoning prayer “(Musli
“(Muslim accounts) and said “prayer is the commitment between us, who abandons it disbelieves - becomes a disbeliever or becomes an atheist – (Ahmad and people of norms “sunan” account). When this who abandons prayer dies he is considered an atheist, he is not washed nor enshrouded, no one prays for him, he is not buried in Muslims’ graves, his relatives do not inherit from him and his money goes to beit al-mal (where the money of Muslim states is kept) in addition to other similar provisions that apply to those who abandon prayer.